Survey Says: Super Bowl Betting Still Occurs Largely Through Illegal Channels
The American Gaming Association (AGA), a national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, projects that $6 billion will be wagered on Super Bowl LIII and that 1.8 million of the 22.7 million American adults who plan to bet on the game will do so illegally through a bookie, while millions more will choose to place bets via offshore online sportsbooks.
That data was developed through a survey conducted on January 22, 2019 that asked a sample of 2,201 adults various questions. The first Super Bowl betting question was: “Do you plan to place a bet on Super Bowl LIII, and if so, how much money do you plan to bet? If you don’t know the exact amount, your best guess will do.”
If the participant answered “Yes” as part of the response, then the participant was asked to choose which of the following best describes how the bet will be placed:
- Via a website online with either a computer, tablet or mobile device.
- With a bookie either in-person or with a computer, tablet or mobile device.
- In a sports pool, squares contest or some similar type of contest.
- Casually between myself and a co-worker, family member or friend.
- Either in-person at a casino sportsbook or via a casino company’s sports betting app.
AGA President and CEO Bill Miller says that the results of the survey point to the continued viability of the dangerous, illegal sports betting market in America. If the AGA’s survey is accurate, then roughly 95% of the bets made on the Super Bowl in the U.S. will still be placed through illegal channels. That would count for small progress from the claimed 97% of bets placed illegally only one year ago.
“It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet on the big game,” said Miller.
That is the conclusion that the AGA wants you to take from the study, and it is not necessarily a wrong position to take. That said, it would have been interesting to see just how many people within the jurisdictions that have already legalized sports betting are still more interested in placing bets illegally through bookies or offshore websites. Further, it would be nice to have a breakdown as to whether the availability of online/mobile options plays a role in the consumers’ decision making process.
In the meantime, this survey will undoubtedly be used to continue lobbying efforts throughout the U.S., in states that have yet to legalize and regulate sports wagering within their borders.